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The Districts gain more recognition before embarking on tour

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
Photo by Eric Ashleigh

Philadelphia’s own The Districts are only four days away from releasing their self-titled EP after signing on with Fat Possum Records this past November. The label is famous for supporting other indie-rockers like The Black Keys, Youth Lagoon, Tennis and many more.

Yesterday, Rolling Stone gave The Districts a little recognition and allowed audiences a peak into the the full EP.

Songs “Lyla,” “Funeral Beds” and “Long Distance” are nothing new to the band’s fans since the tunes are remastered off of an earlier self-released album. However, the two newest songs, “Rocking Chair” and “Stay Open” offer two different, but welcome feels to the EP.

“Rocking Chair” is the kind of song a sea of indie-rockers could jump up and down to, with its in-your-face build ups and catchy lyrics. “Stay Open” is slower-paced for the band, but still true to The Districts’ sound.

The Districts are about to embark on its first national tour with White Denim in February, but before that, they’re playing a free release show in-store on Jan. 28 at A.K.A Music. Just a few days later, The Districts will be joining other Philly natives Dr. Dog as the band’s opening act at The Electric Factory on Jan. 31.

Listen to The Districts’ self-titled EP here, and stream “Funeral Beds” below.

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My Morning Download: Dr. Dog and Saint Rich record each other’s songs, release a commemorative tour EP

DrDogSaintRich Dr. Dog and Saint Rich start a tour together on January 25th in New York and are on the road together through March. WXPN Welcomes Dr. Dog for two shows at the Electric Factory on January 31st and February 1st; Saint Rich is opening the second show and The Districts are opening the first show.

To commemorate the tour, Dr. Dog and Saint Rich have joined digital forces to release the Dr. Dog & Saint Rich Casual Free Fall Tour EP for free on NoiseTrade. The EP includes exclusive tracks of each band covering a song from the other. Dr. Dog covers Saint Rich’s “Dreams” and Saint Rich offers their take on Dr. Dog’s “Rock & Roll.” There is also a song from each band’s most recent album. On their cover of “Dreams,” Dr. Dog turn up the grooves on the rhythm and add some tasty Allman Brothers-like duel guitar lines into the mix.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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The Best of Philly Music 2013

Photo by Abi Reimold
Photo by Abi Reimold

In September 2010, we started The Key because we wanted to offer the local music scene another platform to reach more audiences. We also started it because starting in the early aughts we noticed something happening here creatively amongst the local music scene that was hadn’t felt in a while – it was growing creatively and the buzz about how good the local scene was becoming more significant.

More new bands were starting than ever before, more music was becoming available for fans and more musicians were looking for ways to connect to fans. To me, the last five years of “the scene” reminds me a lot of the Philly music scene in the mid-Eighties to early Nineties when bands like Electric Love Muffin, Three Times Dope, The Wishniaks, Nixon’s Head, the Goats, the Dead Milkmen, Schoolly D, The Low Road, The Hooters, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Tommy Conwell all represented for Philly on both local and international stages. We thought Philly 2012 was a banner year for the local music scene. Guess what? 2013 was even better. Here are some of the best things about the Philly music scene in 2013.

Dr. Dog made their best album yet, B-Room.

Man Man made their best record yet, On Oni Pond.

The Districts signed with Fat Possum. Look for an EP with a couple of old songs and new tunes on January 26th.
Continue reading →

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The Kalob Griffin Band will bring new tunes and holiday vibes to World Cafe Live tomorrow

Via facebook.com/kalobgriffinband

Each musical genre in this city boasts its own community. It’s why creativity breeds, why collaboration is inevitable and how fans know which venues or bars to go to in order to see a show they’ll enjoy.

But there’s something a little more notable, a little more special, about the roots rock revival that’s going on in Philly, and the bands that are at the forefront. It’s bands like Toy Soldiers, The Districts and of course Dr. Dog that have reminded local fans about the advantages of good ol’ Americana — and how the genre can make hands clap and toes tap unlike anything else.

The rise of The Kalob Griffin Band is another key manifestation of this, as the band has made quite splash into the local scene since moving to Philly from State College, Pa. They cultivated a loyal local following, deemed “The KGB Family,” and hope to top last year’s 500-person turn out when they play their “4th annual Holiday Extravaganza” on Saturday at World Café Live with support from The McLovins and Dirty Dollhouse Special.

The show will undoubtedly feature one or all of the three new tracks The Kalob Griffin is poised to release some time in late January 2014. Recorded by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man) and mastered by Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound (Bruce Springsteen, Gov’t Mule, Trey Anastasio, Alabama Shakes) the songs bring the tenacity and twang that live audiences have come to love from the band, but on a whole new level of songwriting and production quality.

“Full Love” is a fast-paced, hoedown-like groove that will be sure to get people dancing. “Bugle Boy Tobacco” starts with the sound of train tracks and the wailing of a harmonica before launching into an upbeat ballad about a boy who “didn’t have to look too hard, because trouble was after me,” and features a groovin’ instrumental breakdown.

But the standout track of the three would be “Fire and Time,” a love song featuring guest vocals from soulful, folksy songstress Ali Wadsworth, who recently released her own solo album. It’s a killer collaboration between long-time scene friends. Listen to two of the songs below, and click here to download a digital package with these two new KGB tracks.

The Kalob Griffin Band will play at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 21 at World Cafe Live. Tickets can be found here.

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Celebrate the holidays with Philly’s Dr. Dog and the Oh My Christmas Tree EP

drdog_epWith their fall tour supporting The Lumineers a wrap, Dr. Dog are back home in Philly for the holidays before embarking on a big 2014 tour in support of this year’s B-Room. Perhaps they’re feeling a bit celebratory about it, since the band is releasing a digital holiday EP tomorrow via their label, Anti- Records. Called Oh My Christmas Tree, it’s a collection of lo-fi Christmas originals songwriter Scott McMicken originally intended for family and friends, but decided to bring to a broader audience. It’s streaming today via Slate, and McMicken writes that while the songs are poppy and playful on the surface, as is the case with Dr. Dog’s best songs, there’s a flipside:

Christmas music can be so playful and fantastical but it can also be very melancholy and foreboding. To me thats the best. The spirit can guide you to balance and the spirit can be found anywhere you choose to look. In the cartoons and in the cold blood. In the wild imagination and in the strictest tradition. These four songs will ultimately live as that reminder for me and hopefully they serve you in some way too.

Listen to Oh My Christmas Tree here. Dr. Dog headlines the Electric Factory on January 31st and February 1st; tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Watch Dr. Dog perform “Distant Light” for Out of Town Films (playing the Electric Factory on 1/31 and 2/1)

Photo by Nicky Devine
Photo by Nicky Devine

Out of Town Films have shared a third video with Dr. Dog, this time featuring B-Room track “Distant Light.”  The clip was filmed in the Philly band’s Clifton Heights studio, which used to be a silversmith’s warehouse before they repurposed the space into a recording studio and practice space.  Check out the energizing performance of “Distant Light” below and revisit the first two videos here.  XPN welcomes Dr. Dog to the Electric Factory with Saint Rich on January 31st and February 1st; tickets and information can be found here.

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Out of Town Films debuts two new performance videos with Dr. Dog (XPN Welcomes to Electric Factory on 1/31 and 2/1)

Photo by Nicky Devine
Photo by Nicky Devine
Philly’s Out Of Town Films have shared two new videos featuring Dr. Dog recorded at the band’s studio in Clifton Heights. The stripped down versions of “The Truth” and “Too Weak To Ramble” nicely showcase the soulful roots of the album, particularly on the stunning “Too Weak To Ramble.”

WXPN Welcomes Dr. Dog to Electric Factory on January 31st and February 1st.

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